Chapter

The Most Difficult Post in the Entire Foreign Service

William J. Rust

in Before the Quagmire

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813135786
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813136844 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813135786.003.0002
The Most Difficult Post in the Entire Foreign Service

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This chapter describes the formulation and execution of U.S. policy in Laos from 1954 to 1956, when Charles W. Yost served as the American chief of mission in Vientiane. Particular attention is paid to the views of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who visited Vientiane in 1955. Offering SEATO protection to the Royal Lao Government (RLG) if it took aggressive military action against the communist-led Pathet Lao in the northern provinces, Dulles and other U.S. officials faced opposition from the French and U.K. governments. The chapter includes biographic sketches of Prince Souvanna Phouma, Prime Minister Katay Don Sasorith, Crown Prince Savang Vatthana and other leading Lao political figures, and it discusses the kingdom's flawed system of parliamentary democracy.

Keywords: Charles W. Yost; John Foster Dulles; Souvanna Phouma; Savang Vatthana; Katay Don Sasorith

Chapter.  11431 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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